Kevin Spacey's lawyers attempted to portray the disgraced actor's alleged victim in a new light during a court hearing last week, insinuating that the man, who was 18 at the time of the alleged assault, could not be a victim of sexual assault because Spacey groped him for three minutes.
In audio footage of a court hearing obtained by the Boston Globe, Spacey's lawyers argued that because the man, the son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, did not report the 2016 incident to authorities right away that he could not have been a victim in the incident.
Spacey's Los Angeles-based attorney Alan Jackson told the judge that Unruh's son did not move away from Spacey or tell him to stop. "That's an incredibly long time to have a strange man's hands in your pants, correct?" Jackson reportedly asked in court.
The alleged victim told police that he couldn't move away easily because the bar was packed. He told investigators he tried to shift his body away from Spacey and to push away Spacey's hands, but "Spacey kept reaching down his pants."
He reportedly sent his girlfriend a Snapchat video during the encounter, but Spacey's attorney said it only shows someone's hand touching another person's shirt.
Unruh has said that her son didn't go to authorities sooner because of embarrassment and fear. He was not interviewed in person about the incident until about a year after it occurred.
Spacey's lawyers also said that Unruh's son told police he was the one who approached Spacey in the bar, eventually exchanging phone numbers with the actor and lying about his age, saying he was 23. They said that Unruh's son told police he drank between eight to 10 drinks — a mix of beers and whiskey — in a little over an hour at the bar, and admitted to being so intoxicated that he may have blacked out shortly after Spacey allegedly groped him.
The case first came to light in November 2017 when Heather Unruh publicly accused Spacey of groping her son at the Club Car bar on Nantucket. Shortly after news hit that Spacey was facing charges, the 59-year-old released a bizarre and cryptic video in which he seemed to be portraying his character, Frank Underwood, from the Netflix series House of Cards.
Spacey and his lawyers have not spoken publicly about the case or about whether the Twitter video was related, although in it, Spacey appears to urge people not to pre-judge the case.
The charge Spacey faces carries penalties of up to five years in prison or up to 2-and-a-half years in jail or a house of correction and a requirement to register as a sex offender, according to court documents.
Spacey faces numerous other criminal investigations into sexual accusations, which began surfacing in the fall of 2017 and prompted his removal from House of Cards. His role in a Ridley Scott film was also re-cast.